The APCO Process

Meeting Your Signage Project Deadline

For most sign projects, a lot has to happen before manufacturing can begin. If you have a critical need-by date for your signs, we encourage you to read this information and let us know your schedule.

Ensuring a successful, on-time delivery for a signage project requires timely exchange of information and clear communication by both APCO and our customers. If we don't do our part, hold us accountable! At the same time, in order to meet any agreed-upon delivery schedules, our customers' active participation in the process and expeditious approvals are essential.

Keep reading or click below to view the infographic detaling the 8-step process.

View The APCO Sign Project Process Infographic
Timeline of APCO Sign Process


The duration of the design phase can vary greatly. Factors include the size and type of facility, the number of decision makers involved, and the complexity of the project. Timely decisions and approvals during the design phase are essential to keeping a project moving forward.
Tip! APCO offers several tools such as sign type standards and an interactive Design Studio to help facilitate and expedite the conceptual design phase of a project.


As with design, the duration of the wayfinding / programming phase can vary greatly depending upon the size and complexity of the facility. This phase includes creation of the Message Schedule and Location Plan and coincides with the design process. Wayfinding and programming must be completed before manufacturing begins, so timely customer decisions and approvals are vital during this phase.


For most projects, APCO will provide detailed color drawings for each sign type.
IMPORTANT! Unless otherwise agreed upon, a scaled drawing for every individual sign will not be provided without additional charges and adjustment of the time schedule.

Tip! Select the longest message possible for each sign type being drawn to ensure the sign's size will be adequate. This can help avoid delays caused by last-minute sign type changes and additions later in the process.


Once drawings are submitted, it is important for the customer to review and respond in a timely manner in order for the project to stay on schedule.

IMPORTANT! APCO cannot move forward with manufacturing until all drawings/submittals/message schedules are approved by the customer. If there are delays and/or revision requests (not due to APCO errors or omissions) that extend the approval phase beyond the agreed upon period, APCO will likely have to adjust the ship date accordingly.


Pre-production proofs are scaled layout drawings that can be created by APCO's proofing software called E-STEP. These proofs illustrate the exact layout of most every sign being produced before manufacturing begins. So long as all design drawings and message schedules have been appropriately reviewed and approved, proofs may not be necessary or beneficial for your project. For this reason, unless otherwise agreed upon, proofs of every sign are not included in the pricing or schedule of a project.
IMPORTANT! If proofs are required, fees may apply and lead times will be extended by 5-10 working days depending upon the size of the project. Manufacturing cannot begin until all proofs are approved by the customer. If design / layout changes are made during the proofing or manufacturing process, lead-times will be extended and additional charges may apply.


Manufacturing lead times vary depending upon the size of the project and type of product, but having complete, final and approved message schedules and drawings can help reduce lead times.


There are many time and cost considerations when determining the best shipping method for your interior signage project. Your APCO Representative will be able to discuss all of the options with you. To avoid the cost of expedited shipping, it's best to account for adequate ground transport (from Atlanta) when establishing your project time line and need-by date.


APCO has installation capabilities throughout the US, so discuss the specific needs of your project with your APCO Representative.

IMPORTANT! Customers can help the overall process by ensuring sites are 100% ready for signage installation by any agreed-upon dates or communicating with APCO in advance if a site will not be ready. Additional charges may be incurred if extra trips to the site are required because the project is not 100% ready for sign installation.